Need a Delivery Driver? Two Great Options for Your Small Business

As a business owner or restaurant operator, you know that efficient delivery services are essential to meet the demands of today's customers.

There are two primary options for businesses looking to handle deliveries: utilizing third-party drivers or utilizing in-house drivers. Both approaches have their pros and cons, and the decision ultimately depends on your business's specific needs and goals.

This article guides you through the benefits and limitations of third-party and in-house drivers and shows how Shipday helps businesses create efficient dispatch delivery systems no matter what delivery driver option they choose.

The pros and cons of third-party drivers

Third-party drivers bring numerous benefits to small businesses, but this approach also comes with its own set of challenges. Business owners need to be aware of both in order to decide if using these drivers will best fit their business.

While the cost and flexibility benefits of third-party drivers are appealing, it’s also necessary to understand how third-party drivers can affect quality and brand when deciding what kind of delivery driver your business should use.  

Cost and flexibility

Outsourcing delivery services to third-party drivers can offer several advantages to small businesses. In 2019, TD Bank surveyed restaurant franchise owners and found that over half of their respondents depended on third-party drivers for their delivery strategy.

Third-party delivery can provide cost benefits by eliminating the need for maintaining an in-house delivery team. The expenses associated with hiring, training, and managing an internal team can be substantial, including salaries, benefits, insurance, and equipment costs. When using third-party drivers, businesses only pay for the services rendered.

Relying on third-party drivers also offers flexibility, allowing businesses to scale their delivery operations according to demand. Whether you experience peak hours or seasonal surges, you can scale up or down without the constraints of a fixed team.

Quality control and brand representation

Considering the limitations of outsourcing to third-party drivers is also essential. Lack of control over the drivers and potential issues with brand representation can pose significant challenges if not addressed.

Ensuring consistent service standards and timely deliveries may require extra effort and communication with the drivers. Entrusting your brand's reputation to external drivers can also raise concerns about the level of professionalism of your business, affecting customer experience. It is crucial to establish clear guidelines and expectations to mitigate these risks.

Driver requirements and dispatching

Before you hire drivers from a third-party provider, you should consider certain requirements they must meet. These requirements include having a valid driver's license, a clean driving record, and a background check.

It's also important to ensure that drivers have vehicles that meet the requirements for your delivery services. Depending on the size and weight of the items being delivered, you may require drivers to have a certain type of vehicle, such as a van or a truck. Additionally, if you plan to use a courier app to manage your deliveries, drivers will need to have a smartphone and be comfortable using the app.

Once you have a team of third-party drivers, you'll need to determine how to dispatch them efficiently.

Using delivery management software like Shipday can help streamline the process. Delivery management software allows businesses to assign deliveries to drivers based on their availability, location, and other factors.

They can also provide drivers with the most efficient routes to take, reducing delivery times and fuel costs.

Monitoring delivery progress and customer service

It's important to monitor the progress of each delivery in real-time. Shipday allows you to track the location of each driver and receive notifications when deliveries are completed. Accurate delivery records are essential for customer satisfaction and dispute resolution.

It's also important to provide excellent customer service throughout the delivery process. This includes clear communication with customers regarding delivery times and any issues that may arise.

Shipday helps businesses keep track of delivery times, customer signatures, and other important details. You can use this information to improve your delivery processes and provide better customer service.

The pros and cons of in-house drivers

Choosing to have an internal delivery team offers businesses several advantages worth considering. One of the key benefits is the control it provides over the entire delivery process.

With in-house drivers, businesses can maintain direct communication, ensuring prompt responses and consistent service quality. This level of control also allows businesses to customize the delivery experience to align with their brand's standards, from branded uniforms to personalized interactions with customers.

However, similar to third-party drivers, it's important to carefully evaluate the challenges that come with managing an in-house team. By weighing these factors, businesses can make an informed decision about whether in-house drivers are the right choice for their specific delivery needs.

Control and customization

Having an internal team provides greater control over the entire delivery process, allowing businesses to maintain direct communication with the drivers, ensuring prompt responses and consistent service quality.

Additionally, having an internal team allows businesses to customize the delivery experience to align with their brand's standards. From branded uniforms to personalized interactions with customers, businesses have the flexibility to shape the customer journey.

Driver requirements and vehicle considerations

Like third-party drivers, it's crucial to establish driver requirements before hiring in-house drivers. These requirements include possessing a valid driver's license, maintaining a clean driving record, and passing a background check. Ensuring that drivers have the necessary skills and qualifications is vital to maintain the integrity of your delivery services.

Again, considering the vehicle requirements is essential. Depending on the size and weight of the items being delivered, drivers may need to have a specific type of vehicle, such as a van or a truck, to ensure efficient and safe transportation.

Dispatching and scheduling

Managing an in-house delivery team requires effective dispatching and scheduling. Assigning deliveries and optimizing routes manually can be time-consuming and inefficient.

Shipday gives businesses an advantage by allowing them to assign deliveries based on driver availability, location, and other factors. Shipday also provides real-time updates on delivery progress and assists in managing time windows for deliveries, ensuring timely service to customers.

Monitoring and performance management

With an in-house delivery team, businesses have the advantage of closely monitoring delivery progress and driver performance. This allows for immediate intervention in case of delays or issues, ensuring that customer expectations are met.

Businesses can implement performance metrics and KPIs to track driver efficiency, on-time deliveries, and customer satisfaction. Regular feedback, training, and performance evaluations can help optimize the delivery process and maintain a high level of service.

Conclusion

As a business owner or restaurant operator, efficient delivery services are essential for meeting the demands of today's customers. Whether you choose to utilize third-party drivers or an in-house delivery team, careful planning and management are key to success.

By considering the pros and cons of each approach, as well as the requirements for drivers, dispatching, monitoring delivery progress, and customer service, you can build a reliable and efficient delivery operation.

Factors such as cost, flexibility, quality control, brand representation, control, customization, driver requirements, vehicle considerations, dispatching, scheduling, monitoring, and performance management all play vital roles in determining the best approach for your business.

Whatever driver solution you choose, Shipday can help you create efficient delivery systems that improve customer experience and keep your drivers on track. We integrate with third-party apps and also allow for a seamless white-label solution for businesses that want to maintain their own in-house drivers. Try Shipday for free today.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.